Imagine life without a birth certificate.
That is the reality for an estimated 300,000 Australians who have not had their births registered and the half a million who don’t have a birth certificate.
To help remedy the problem, the not-for-profit organisation Pathfinders is conducting a campaign called the National Aboriginal Birth Certificate Program.
Using a grant from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Pathfinders recently held a registration day in Karuah with a great turnout of mothers and families.
“Without a birth certificate, everything is harder,” Program Coordinator Hilton Naden told News Of The Area.
“Enrolling in school, getting a driver’s licence, a passport, a job, voting, they’re all a challenge.”
“At this stage the Birth Certificate Program is aimed at 0 to 21 year olds, but we do accept applications from older people,” Mr Naden said.
Since the program’s inception, approximately 1000 people have gained access to their birth certificates.
The program is free to Aboriginal applicants who were born in NSW, QLD, ACT or VIC.
Pathfinders continues to lobby for additional funding and to make the process simpler and more affordable for all Australians.
Private and corporate donations are also welcome.
It is not too late to take advantage of the program.
To sign up or to enrol contact Lyn on 02 6788 2123 or email lynettew@pathfinders.
By Margie TIERNEY